On the eve of the 74th Republic Day, the government of India announced the list of Padma awardees. The likes of Kalarippayattu veteran SRD Prasad, Thang Ta guru K Shanathoiba Sharma and former cricketer and coach Gurcharan Singh were presented with Padma Shri for their unparallel contribution in the field of sports.
All you need to know about the Padma Shri awardees of 2023 in the sports category:
Kalaripayattu Veteran Sri SRD Prasad:
Master of the Traditional Indian warfare Kalaripayattu, Sri SRD Prasad hails from the state of Kerala. He is also bagged the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2016 for his contribution to Martial Art. He terms Kalarippayattu as the ‘ideal vehicle for physical fitness, self-defence and mental agility’. Prasad had also prepared the syllabus of a course for the Nalanda Dance Research Centre in Mumbai that includes Kalaripayattu.
Former India coach Gurcharan Singh
Gurcharan Singh served as the coach of the Indian cricket team from 1986 to 1987. He also received the Dronachary award in 1987, becoming the second coach to win this award for Cricket. Later, he went on to become the director of the Pace Bowling Academy started by the BCCI. Singh has coached more than 100 first-class cricketers and as many as 12 international cricketers. The list of wards includes the likes of Kirti Azad, Ajay Jadeja and Murali Kartik.
Maniur’s K Sanathoiba Sharma
Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee K Sanathoiba Sharma is a renowned coach of Thang-Ta; the traditional martial art of Manipur also known as the ‘Art of the Sword and Spear’. It integrates various external weapons – the sword, spear, dagger, etc. – with the internal practice of physical control through soft movements coordinated with the rhythms of breathing. It is part of the great heroic tradition of Manipur. Sharma believes Thang-ta is the backbone of Manipuri society as it had no other weapon to protect the land from invaders in the past.
About Padma Awards
Padma awards are one of the highest civilian recognition in the country. The awards are given in several disciplines such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, and civil service, among others.
Instituted in 1954, these Awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. The nominations received for Padma Awards are placed before the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister. The Awards Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes the Home Secretary, the Secretary to the President and a couple of eminent persons.
‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.
For the year 2023, the President has approved the conferment of 106 Padma Awards including 3 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one) as per list below. The list comprises 6 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 91 Padma Shri Awards. 19 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 2 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 7 Posthumous awardees.
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